Funders Examine the Future of Work

In Baltimore, MD this week, 65 representatives of foundations and nonprofits met to explore changes in the workplace and the nature of work that are affecting low-income workers as well as their families and communities. The meeting was organized by three affinity groups within philanthropy that are particularly interested in these populations – Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce, Neighborhood Funders’ Group, and Workforce Matters.

The participants heard from experts about a number of topics, including how advances in technology can harm or benefit low-income workers; the impact of subcontracting, outsourcing, franchising and other changes in the employer-employee relationship on workers; how parents’ working hours and conditions affect their children; and what changes in policies and practices at the national and local levels can push more low-income workers into the middle class.

Among the expert presenters were: David Weil, Administrator, Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor; Andrew McAfee, Associate Director, Initiative on the Digital Economy, Sloan School of Business at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; David Rugaber, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Oberg Industries; Wendy Chun-Hoon, DC Director, Family Values @ Work; Lynn Rhinehart, Co-General Counsel, AFL-CIO; Avis Jones-deWeever, Founding President & CEO, Incite Unlimited; and Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Presenters from Public Welfare Foundation grantees included Nikki Fortunato Bas, Executive Director, Partnership for Working Families; Catherine Ruckelshaus, General Counsel of the National Employment Law Project; and Roxana Tynan, Executive Director of Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.

For more details about the meeting, click here.


The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need. These efforts honor the Foundation’s core values of racial equity, economic well-being, and fundamental fairness for all. The Foundation looks for strategic points where its funds can make a significant difference and improve lives through policy and system reform that results in transformative change. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter or on Facebook.

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